What if a Fire Strikes? Is Your School Prepared?
Did you know that most local fire departments would be more than happy to visit your school and give a speech on fire safety for free? They will provide teachers and students with the information needed incase of a fire.
The federal government mandates that all schools have a fire drill once a month. Although this is a great way to show students how to prepare incase of a school fire, it still is not enough. A fire emergency plan must be created, understood, and shared with students, faculty, and administrators. Keeping our children safe is the #1 priority, and it's imperative that everyone understands their position incase a fire were to happen. Don't be scared to address your students in regards to an emergency situation. They need to be prepared and educated on fire safety.
How to Form a School Fire Safety Plan
It's Wednesday at 11am. Can you hear the fire drill going on at your local school? Whether you are at a large or small school district it is mandated by the Federal government that a school fire safety plan is formed, followed and practiced. The Office of the State Fire Marshall has a step-by-step guide for teachers that can help them to form a school fire safety plan to safeguard the students and themselves.
The first step is for teachers and administrators to plan ahead. This means that before the students step foot in the classroom, teachers should be familiarized with the district policy in regard to fires, the schools protection system, the sound of the alarm and the floor plan of the school. They also need to know the escape plan which is the most critical aspect of fire safety. As a teacher, responsible for many students at once - they need to know the best way to get out of the building. Administrators should also go over the basic rules about things like not using elevators and evacuation for teachers that are on secondary floors of a building. If you have a special needs student in your class, helping this child to safety is also important.
The next step is for teachers to pass on this knowledge to students. Use teacher worksheets, lesson plans and other teacher resources to ensure that students know what they need to do. Some teachers require students and parents to sign fire safety plans and responsibility vouchers. Students should be given basic safety information about how to react in a fire at school and at home. Most local fire departments will provide these training sessions for free.
The Federal Government also requires that school districts practice drills once a month. Parents and children should be notified of these practice drills ahead of time so that they can prepare students and help to eliminate fear. Sending home information about the school fire safety plan can allow parents a chance to explain things to their children as well. When children remain calm - the drills will go much more smoothly. Reiterate to students that they must not reenter a building until they are given the go ahead.
If you are in need of information on how to form a school fire safety plan, you should contact your local fire department and make sure that you have blueprints of your school available. These should also be clearly displayed throughout the school in case there are people there who are not familiar with the layout. In order to form a school safety fire plan - the administration and teachers must first be fully capable and knowledgeable. When they can pass information on to their students and are able to react in a calm manner and stay in control of their students - the drills and the real thing should it become necessary can be much easier.
Resources On Fire and Safety in Schools
- Crouch Fire & Safety
- Children's Fire Safety Digest
- DLTK's Fire Prevention Week Activities
- Fire Safety Institute
- Fire Safety Planning
- L.A.F.S. For Life
- Nozzles The Clown
- Sparky's the Fire Dog.
- University of Oklahoma Fire Safety